Saturday, April 21, 2012

Permanent Record's Debut

M's band underwent a personnel change, with the new lead singer came a few new songs and a name change. They performed tonight for a fund raiser. There were a few flubs, but I think they did well overall.

Pork in the Park

We went out to pork in the Park this morning around 10:30 a.m. We decided to do this to avoid the massive crowds and long lines for food. It turned out to be a good idea. All the vendors had just opened up, there were no lines, I got a cool hippie bag to carry my stuff in and we got an amazing rack of ribs. The performers were singing on stage, and the rides were going. As we were leaving, the masses were pouring into the park.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day and dinner with friends

I had a lovely day with friends today, visiting antique shops, watching the fog over the ocean, having great conversations, and having a fantastic dinner at Blue Moon in Rehobeth, DE. Not sure what order the pix will show up since I still haven't totally figured out this iPad. I had bacon wrapped dates, a mozzarella root vegetable salad, a massive short rib and polenta, plus a fancy strawberry shortcake. Yum. What a great day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Home repairs

I have a motto when undertaking just about any repair job I tackle, "if it didn't take a rocket scientist to build it, it's not going to take one to fix it." This motto has cost me flesh, blood, sore muscles and back in my life time, but the repairs always got done. So before you was today's 4 hour repair. The steps to our back deck were rotted and splitting. It was only a matter of time before someone fell and injured themselves. You can't tell from this picture, but the overhang on the top two steps were split to a point were you could pull the wood off with your hands. This looked like a simple thing to repair. Looks can be deceiving. So I was smart, I measured each step to make sure what size decking I needed. I was even smarter and saved myself time and hassle by having the steps cut at the hardware store.
So my thought was to just unscrew each tread, removed the tread and lay down the new tread and screw it into place. Oh if only it had been that easy. What I discovered was not only were the wooden treads rotted, but the screws the guy (former homeowner) used to install the treads were not meant for outdoor use. When I tried to unscrew the screws, I either chewed the screw head out because it was soft and rusted from years of exposure, or when I put the drill bit on the screw, the top part of the screw evaporated into a cloud of rust dust, leaving the screw body lodged into the wooden tread.
So my next thought was, I would use a drill and just drill the screws out. That didn't work. Next solution, get a reciprocating saw and saw through the treads and bodies of the screws to remove them. That worked, but first it entailed me driving to the hardware store to purchase said saw, then much cutting and prying with a crowbar before I finally had all the treads and bodies of screws removed.
Next I laid each new tread in place to make sure the sizes were correct before installing them. I knew enough to pre-drill the holes so as not to split the wood when putting the screws in. On the very first hole, my drill bit came out of the drill and got stuck in the tread. No amount of pulling and twisting with pliers would get the drill bit out. I have a cheap drill that doesn't have a chuck to lock the bits into the drill tightly, so sometimes this happens.
Next step after I exhausted all the tools in my house to remove the drill bit without success was to take the tread across the street to my neighbor's house and have him use his vice grips to get the drill bit out. That worked, so I marched back home with the tread and decided to continue pre-drilling the holes, just not to go in as deep so I wouldn't lose the drill bit again. That didn't work, the bit continued to pop out. So I said to hell with it and just started screwing in the treads and splitting be damned. I am happy to report the splitting was minimal.
So, voila! The steps are done. I did not draw any blood with this repair, so that's good. Below are the remains of the old treads that I had to saw out. Not too bad for my first decking repair. I would definitely get a better drill before attempting something like this again.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

So Min asked me last week if I would do an Easter egg hunt for her and her brother. Min is 23 and Jr is 20. M said they were too old and they would be embarrassed. I said Min requested it and she wouldn't have asked if she didn't seriously want to do it. Not
only did they seriously want to hunt for Easter eggs, they brought friends with them. So much for being embarrassed. All of them went racing around the house looking for eggs. There was candy, quarters, and puzzle pieces in the eggs. They had to put their puzzles together, then translate them from Spanish, then figure out the clue to find the books I got them. Min's puzzle said "horse tails and tales of love." She had to find the book, -Horses Never Lie About Love.- Jr's puzzle said, "you are the author of your destiny and a best seller." He had to find Rob Lowe's best seller, - Stories I Only Tell My Friends.- Guess you know what my son's name is now. Oh, and the edible arrangement is what Min made for us for Easter. Hope you are all having a nice Easter. Off to have dinner now.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Still working, still experimenting

I have been working on Min's room in between everything else I have to do. I finished the floor last week and started putting the room back together. I still have some minor things to do with the built-in cabinets, but the room doesn't need to be empty to do any of that. I have to clean up white paint on the black hinges, put a strip of molding at the bottom of the cabinets, and re-hang a mirror in the alcove as soon as it comes in at Lowes. I bought a really cool mirror and then promptly broke it, and so had to re-order it, 3 weeks ago. I don't know what's taking it so long to come in.
Next I decided to practice with my fish eye lens again to take shots of the room. So these first two photos are with the fish eye lens, standing in the doorway of the room. The next two pix are standing in the same spot, but with a regular lens. Notice how I can get a shot of the whole room with one lens, and only a small portion with the other lens. Today I'm off from work and I think I have a lot of weeding and yard work to get done in anticipation of some major yard work next week. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meeting a fellow blogger

When we recently went up to NYC we had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger, Trish from Menopausal Stoners. We had a lovely picnic lunch in Strawberry Fields in Central Park. When we met Trish she greeted us and began talking about stuff going in her day as if we were old friends, picking up where we left off the last time we spoke. The funny thing was, I was familiar with every topic because I had been reading her blog for quite some time. Its always nice when you get to meet a fellow blogger. We got to meet Marilyn of Maeve's Madness last Fall (it's not our fault she hasn't posted in 8 months) and now Trish. Next summer we plan to meet up with Larena of Life at 40 something (who we already know) and Michelle of 1 Million Tries and Knock Knock its Cancer. My ultimate meet ups that I hope to accomplish one day will be to meet Naomi (Old lady in the hills) out in CA and Cyberkitten in England (whose real name is still a mystery to me after reading him for years. Anyway, below are the pix. Thanks Trish for a great meetup and picnic.

And on and on and on

Still busy!  Surprised?  I think this is just the state of my life.  I'm teaching an on-line course, traveling three weeks in a row (MD,...